Tips for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: “OWN IT. SECURE IT. PROTECT IT.”

Cybersecurity is an important part of daily business operations to ensure your data is safe and protected. But for one month of the year, an extra special emphasis is put on cybersecurity awareness to help keep individuals and businesses vigilant about their data security.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is celebrated throughout the month of October every year. It was first launched in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Every 39 seconds a hacker is attacking a computer in the U.S. This nearly constant barrage of cyberattacks has put IT security at the top of most organizations’ priority lists because data breaches, ransomware attacks, and virus infections can be deadly for any company.

Many small businesses don’t survive a major data breach, due to all the associated costs including:

  • Data loss
  • Emergency tech costs
  • Lost business during downtime
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Productivity losses
  • Fines for non-compliance with data privacy rules

This Month’s Cybersecurity Theme

The theme of this year’s NCSAM is OWN IT. SECURE IT. PROTECT IT. and it revolves around three specific areas of cybersecurity. The goal is to help encourage personal accountability for digital privacy as well as proactive behavior in adopting best practices and understanding common cyber threats.

OWN IT is about understanding your digital profile and how information can be compromised. This includes both your own information and also the data that you collect from your clients in the course of business.

SECURE IT refers to best practices that you can adopt to protect your data and prevent your corporate network from being breached.

PROTECT IT relates to your ongoing “Cyber Hygiene” and staying vigilant about protecting your data, devices, and network from a breach.

Take Time to Improve Your Team’s Cybersecurity Awareness

Adopting good cybersecurity practices can keep your business from becoming hacked and positively impact your bottom line. Just one best practice of forming an incident response team can reduce costs if a data breach occurs by $360,000.

Here are several cybersecurity best practices for your office to adopt that fall under each of the three areas of the NCSAM theme.

OWN IT – Reducing Your Digital Footprint

  • Improve Privacy Settings: Whether you’re on your own social media account or posting for your corporate one, the privacy settings you use are important. Be sure you’re only allowing those you want to give access to see your posts.
  • Ask Before You Share: It can be great to share a photo of your latest client project and how happy they were with it, but be sure you ask before you share, not only to honor their privacy but to also keep a good working relationship.
  • Understand Security of Smart Devices: Voice activated speakers, smart whiteboards and other IoT gadgets are futurizing offices around the world, but you need to understand how to protect them before you connect them.

SECURE IT – Protecting Your Data

  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication: Compromised passwords account for about 80% of hacking-related data breaches. Multi-factor authentication, which requires a PIN to be entered along with your password, goes a long way towards credential security.
  • Provide Phishing Training & Apps: Phishing is the number one way that malicious codes get into devices and networks. Train your team on how to spot and avoid clicking on phishing emails and back them up with anti-phishing software.
  • Mobile Device Security: Smartphones and tablets are taking over more of the office workload every year. Make sure you have a way to log and secure their data access and to wipe them clean remotely should they be lost or stolen.

PROTECT IT – Remain Cyber-Vigilant

  • Apply Patches & Updates in a Timely Fashion: Updates contain vital security patches for found and exploited software vulnerabilities. It’s best not to just leave these to users to do, but instead use a Managed IT Plan that includes managing your patches and updates.
  • Review Cyber and Physical Security: Cybersecurity and physical security go hand-in-hand when it comes to protecting your business. It’s a good idea to do annual assessments of each to see if any policies need to be updated.
  • Adopt Good Data Backup Practices: It’s easy for a data backup to stall and fail if you’re not monitoring it, and that data loss can be devastating. Ensure you adopt good backup practices, such as keeping three copies of all your data, ensuring one copy is offsite, and checking backups regularly.

Contact C Solutions for a Full IT Security Assessment

Data security is not something you want to leave to chance. Just one data breach can cripple a company for years, so the best practice is prevention and ensuring your IT security is up to date and in good shape.

Contact us today to schedule an IT security assessment and make sure your business is protected. Call us at 407-536-8381 or reach out online.